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Trip Report ***COMPLETED*** We Must Be Crazy! - December 2019 TR


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Original Poster
I’d say it’s probably been almost 2 years since you’ve seen a TR from me (sadly). My last trip in March 2018 with my college roommates contained 5 days jam-packed with everything we could possibly do. It was a fantastic trip. If you followed along with that TR, you might’ve remembered that I was in my sophomore year at Penn State then.

Here comes the scary part…I will be graduating from Penn State in one semester!!! I know, time flies. But this trip isn’t about me and my college friends, it’s time to bring this one back to the family.

Back in October, I received a text from my sister Victoria (who's currently a freshman at Ohio State) saying "We should go to Disney together over Christmas break". I seriously couldn't believe her. My sister and I have been talking about doing a sister’s-only trip for a very long time now. The last time we went to Disney World as a family, I was a senior in high school and she was a freshman. I’m now a senior in college and she just finished her first semester at Ohio State. So she’s finally old enough to be able to go on a trip with just me!

This is us...can you guess who's who?!

Of course, we first needed permission from our parents and to my surprise they couldn't be more thrilled to hear that we wanted to go on a trip together.
Unfortunately, with our college schedules being different, Victoria needed to be back at school on January 5th and I didn’t get home from school until December 20th, so doing anything before Christmas wasn’t an option and neither was doing anything after New Year’s. That's how we ended up making the crazy decision to visit WDW from December 28th-January 2nd...thus where the title comes from.

We've done Disney over Christmas once before, back in 2013 for my Sweet 16 trip. After that my dad vowed to never return until we had kids. But with me graduating soon, it seemed like our only option was to do it now so we went ahead and booked our trip. After getting back just a few days ago, I have to tell you...we definitely were crazy for doing this. But it was also the best six days I could've possibly imagined.

So I hope you're all excited to join me for this wild ride of a trip we had!


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Following along. Glad you got to spend some time with your sister, even if it was during a crazy time to visit. Looking forward to it!


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Original Poster


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday, December 28th:
My alarm went off at 3:45 AM sharp, but if I'm being completely honest, I don't know if I actually ever fell asleep. Even though it was pitch black outside, the excitement kicked in immediately and I started to get ready. I had to of course first check in on Victoria and make sure she was actually awake because she has a bad habit of sleeping through her alarm.

We threw our last few things in the suitcase and used our luggage scale to weigh it. We decided that for the ease of everything we would just share a suitcase, but combine two girls with very a unpredictable weather forecast and you've got a very full suitcase. The scale said it weighed 52 lbs. so I frantically threw some of my stuff out and settled at 48 lbs.

Our mom was driving us to MacArthur Airport, which is about a 20 minute drive from our house so we left around 4:30. After saying a quick goodbye to our mom, we headed inside.
We don't look too sleepy in this photo, but I promise you we were.

I had checked us in the night prior so we just needed to drop our bag off and then headed to security. MacArthur is a relatively small airport so security was a breeze...especially this early in the morning.
Of course a quick bathroom selfie first...

We headed to our gate right around boarding time, but for the amount of people on our flight we were pleasantly surprised how quickly it boarded. A man approached the woman scanning our boarding passes as we were about to enter and started rambling about how he lost his father's ashes and if someone could help him find them. We all just looked at him and hoped he was kidding. The woman didn't even know how to respond.

We boarded the plane and of course Victoria snagged the window seat. It was our first time flying Frontier and even though it was super cheap, I don’t think we’ll ever be flying it again. The chairs on the plane reminded me of the little fold up chairs you see at concerts. They were absolutely awful. But you get what you paid for.
Still smiling!

Our flight took off at 6 AM on the dot which was great. Victoria slept for a majority of the flight but I have extremely bad flying anxiety so I didn’t get much sleep. We landed about an hour early at 8:20. We were thrilled!

Once we deplaned, we were off to our first ride of the trip…the fonerail! It was pouring outside at the time and we started to get a bit nervous as the forecast looked very similar for a majority of our trip.

We headed right down to baggage claim and got our luggage immediately. That never happens for us! We got a bit turned around heading towards the Magical Express as we always do. We’re a bit directionally challenged….get it from our mom. Dad on the other hand can navigate just about anywhere with his eyes closed.

The wait for the Magical Express wasn’t long at all. From the point of entering the line to getting on the bus I think it was only like 15 minutes. The bus driver wasn't kidding when he said that we would be under the entrance gates in no time! We made it to the resort by 10 AM which was awesome because our flight was originally not even supposed to land until 9:20.

We saw this sign on the ride over and I couldn't help but laugh. I feel like this is such a Florida kind of billboard.

And we have arrived at our destination!
We were staying in the Gran Destino Towers and I had tried my best to avoid looking at pictures up until this point. I couldn’t believe how massive the building was. The lobby was very modern but beautiful. The line to check-in was long but we probably waited only 30 minutes.

Coming up...I may have already ruined the trip and we only just arrived.


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Can’t wait to hear about your trip! I took a trip with just my sister last New Years and it was such a great trip despite the craziness of the crowds.


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In the Parks
ISP is my airport of choice too!!
Also hate those Frontier seats. It’s like sitting on cardboard and magazines.


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Original Poster
Can’t wait to hear about your trip! I took a trip with just my sister last New Years and it was such a great trip despite the craziness of the crowds.
Thank you!! It's such an awesome experience getting to go with your siblings alone!

ISP is my airport of choice too!!
Also hate those Frontier seats. It’s like sitting on cardboard and magazines.
It is just so convenient...and you don't have to deal with the traffic going into JFK or Laguardia!

Sounds fun, it should be fun to see your adventures!
Thanks so much!

Looking forward to more!
Thank you!!
This looks like so much fun!! I'm in!!:)
Woo, thank you!!

I am always in for crazy!
You have definitely come to the right place then, lol!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Saturday continued...
It was during check-in that I realized I made a costly mistake that could potentially ruin our entire trip. When I went into my backpack to grab my wallet which had my license, credit card, debit card, cash, and gift cards in it, it was nowhere to be found. I of course started to panic and Victoria and I ripped through the entire bag, as well as hers.
It was nowhere to be found. I was positive that I had it on the plane because when I was sifting through my bag I saw it. This led us to believe that at some point in MCO it either fell out or someone went into my bag without my realizing.

I called my mom panicking and she told me not to freak out. Yes, this was bad, but thankfully we also brought our passports as backup ID and Victoria had brought her own credit cards. However, I was still majorly embarrassed and felt so bad that I had lost my wallet and our trip had started off like this.

The CM checking us in was so incredibly helpful and made calls to MCO, Magical Express, as well as to the hotel lost and found to look out for the wallet. Up until this point we have still not heard anything about the missing wallet but still are trying to remain optimistic.

Besides the major bump in the road, we were all checked in and unfortunately our room was not ready yet so we dropped our bags off at bell services and decided to explore the gift shop and the rest of the lobby. When we checked in we also checked to see if any rooms with queen beds had opened up as when we booked there were only king beds available but there was nothing.
I reallyyy wanted the Arendelle Aqua ears. Victoria kept insisting "I had enough ears". Well let me tell you, you never can have too many pairs of Minnie ears!
At around 10:51 I received a text that our room was ready! We were on the 12th floor in room 9221. We loved the new elevator system where you pressed which floor you were going to on the ground level and it designated an elevator for you.

I let Victoria scan into our room for the first time and I honestly think both of our jaws dropped when we opened the door. The room was gorgeous...and huge!!! This was both of our first times staying in a moderate but if I'm being completely honest, the room was up there with the Polynesian. We were just so impressed.
We also had a view of the ToT from our room which was super cool! Which also meant that we could see the DHS fireworks from our room.

After dropping our stuff off, we realized how hungry we were so we decided to explore the rest of the resort a bit and then grab lunch from El Mercado.
This place was just so massive!
We decided to share an order of the adult chicken tenders because we had an early-ish dinner reservation later on. It took forever for our food to be ready. There were literally 2 people working at the grill bay and the line kept growing. But we eventually got our food and headed to find a seat.
I was very excited to see the Penn State game playing across from us in the bar!

After lunch, we realized we were getting a bit burnt out and I wanted to watch some of the Penn State bowl game so we headed back up to the room. I had noticed it had started to pour again so I think we made a good call. Victoria took a quick nap while I watched the first half of the game. At around 2 we decided to start getting ready to head to Disney Springs.

Coming up...Exploring Disney Springs!


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Original Poster
Saturday continued...
We headed out to the bus stop and the timing of the bus was pretty spot on with the app. However, this would be the only time all trip that would happen. We had a horrible experience with Disney transportation all trip. Regardless of the fact that it was a busy week...but we'll get into that more later on.

We arrived in Disney Springs in no time. At this point any sign of rain had completely gone away and it was absolutely beautiful outside. And it showed because Disney Springs was packed. But it looked like it was a ton of non-resort guests.

Victoria saw a ton of people wearing Ohio State gear and was very excited. I on the other hand was checking my phone every 10 seconds keeping up with the Penn State score. I can proudly say we dominated that game!

We ended up just mostly browsing through most of the stores and not getting much. Victoria ended up getting one of the 12 days of socks advent calendars because it was on sale in the Christmas store.
More selfies wearing ears I wish I bought!
I knew my mom would absolutely kill me if I came home with this, but I knew I had to mess with her anyways. A few weeks prior I had bought a giant Olaf from Walmart because it was only $15 for my apartment. Needless to say she questioned if I was 21 or 10. I sent her this picture and her response was "Oy".
It was very difficult to convince Victoria to take pictures with me throughout the trip. This is only one of the few that happened.
After a lot of walking our feet started to get tired so we sat on some benches outside of the Boathouse and I let Victoria unbox her new socks. We had an ADR for The Edison at 6, but it had started drizzling so we checked in a bit early around 5:45.

I was so impressed with the theming of the restaurant! I hadn't brought my passport to Disney Springs with me but I would've loved to sit at the bar, it was so cool! There was also a lady walking around on giant stilts. I also loved the old black and white shorts being projected on the walls.
Our waitress was so sweet and very quick to keep refilling our waters which was great because it had gotten very hot outside. The waitress had raved to us about the grilled Edison wings but I knew I couldn’t eat both an appetizer and entrée so I decided to order those as my entrée with a side of asparagus (trying to be a bit healthy in Disney!). Victoria had ordered the Prime Rib.
Victoria's kind of looked like dog food...but she insisted it didn't taste like it, lol.

We both really enjoyed our meals! The wings were awesome and there was a huge portion. The asparagus I ordered was not the greatest…I don’t know what they seasoned them with, but overall it was a great experience. We were also served so quickly! I think we were in and out of the restaurant by 6:40. Which was perfect because Victoria insisted that I watch the Ohio State playoff game with her.

It took a really long time for our bus to arrive but we chatted with some fellow college football fans in line (they noticed Victoria’s Ohio State t-shirt) and we made it back to the hotel around 7:30. Victoria really wanted to watch the game at the bar with other Ohio State fans despite me expressing how burnt out I was starting to get so I decided to be a good big sister and come along. I ran upstairs quickly to grab my passport because there was no way I was sitting through watching an Ohio State game with a ton of other Ohio State fans without a drink.

We found two stools at the bar and were surrounded by masses of other Ohio State and Clemson fans. I ended up ordering a glass of Pino Grigio which was my mistake because it only made me even sleepier.
After somehow making it all the way to halftime, I insisted we had to go upstairs. I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I ended up taking a shower and literally passing out around 11 while Victoria had the game on the TV. This is how you know how exhausted I was because I am the lightest sleeper ever and can never sleep if there’s even a little light in the room.

I was woken up by her around midnight however when I heard her crying over the loss. I wanted to make a joke so badly since all she does is ridicule me but I just said “I’m sorry” and rolled back over. We had a long day coming up!

Day One Summary:
Total Miles Walked: 7.5 miles
Bad: Losing my wallet
Good: We’re in Disney! (and a Penn State bowl game win!)
Surprised by: how nice Gran Destino Tower was
Today we tried: dinner at The Edison
The result…awesome!
In one word today was…stressful!

Coming up...rain, rain, please go away!


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Original Poster
So a bit of a crazy coincidence update since I posted last night...I woke up to an email this morning from Frontier Airlines that they believe they found my wallet! Unfortunately I tried calling and they won’t specify what was left in it or where it was found but it should be arriving on Friday!


Premium Member
So a bit of a crazy coincidence update since I posted last night...I woke up to an email this morning from Frontier Airlines that they believe they found my wallet! Unfortunately I tried calling and they won’t specify what was left in it or where it was found but it should be arriving on Friday!
That‘s great news! I hope most - if not all - of the items are in it 😀


Well-Known Member
Glad to hear you might get all/most of your wallet back

I had to laugh at your "light sleeper" comments
My wife is the same - usually a light sleeper but at times she can/will fall asleep on the couch with the lights and tv on

I, however, have mastered the ability to fall asleep almost anywhere - part of being a Dad I think

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